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Solera Aging: What is it, and how does it make Gorovka so darn good?

Gorovka: a 55% ABV (110 proof) pea-distillate of pure, unadulterated, unquestionable joy that is solera aged in a large oak puncheon barrel. Many have been ensnared by the allure of the General Chairman of 3BR Distillery’s spirit lineup, but what makes that beautiful brown booze so successful? What makes each sip of Gorovka better than the last?

The correct answer would be “everything”, but for the purposes of this entry, we’ll instead take a look at the unique way in which Gorovka is aged.

While big whiskey distilleries on the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail'' have access to significant real estate, full of sprawling rickhouses with barrels stacked upon barrels full of heavenly booze, 3BR Distillery doesn’t have the same luxury, and instead we need to refer to more creative ways to age liquor. One of the methods used (specifically for comrade Gorovka) is the solera aging technique.

Instead of stacking up a rack of standard 53 gallon white oak barrels and waiting years for their innards to age, we’ve filled a single 133 gallon puncheon barrel with all of grandpa Oleg’s 110-proof, pot-stilled greatness. As all of that Soviet “nectar of the gods” soaks into the barrel, transferring impurities for woody notes (the same way a whiskey, rum or even wine naturally does), our world class distilling team (Aleks, and whoever is on staff that day) make sure to only harvest 40% from the barrel at a time, followed by replenishing with fresh Gorovka. In this way, Gorovka is actually aging itself, as the older contents mix with the new samples added, creating a unique and practical way to blend the spirit efficiently.

Because of this aging process, no two batches of Gorovka will ever be the same, and each successive bottling will become “more old” than the last. Maybe this makes Gorovka our most "progressive" spirit in the line: The bottle you purchase today gives us the opportunity to mature the batch, giving the next customer an even better expression of that wonderful, earthy, rich spirit. It also means the only way you’ll know what Gorovka tastes like is if you always keep a bottle handy. Gorovka for all, comrades!

Okay, that’s all fine and interesting…but how should I drink it?

Gorovka is best consumed on the back of a large bear that is running through a Siberian forest while wearing matching 3-striped tracksuits. However, in lieu of limited access to those conditions, we recommend serving this revolutionary spirit over a large ice cube in a smoked glass, or in a typical “old fashioned”.

“OUR” FASHIONED (Gorovka Old Fashioned)

2.0 oz Gorovka specialty pea distillate

0.5 oz simple syrup (we’ve found that Gorovka needs a little more sugar than is typical)

2-3 dashes aromatic bitters (Angostura bitters are fine)

Stir ingredients together and serve on the rocks, with a large peel of orange expressed over the glass.

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